I’ve been reading “What’s the Economy for Anyway?” and it’s been a pretty good read so far (for an economics book). I won’t lie and tell you it’s something I’d read in my free time, but for a reading assignment, it’s really eye opening, and written in a way to keep me interested.
So far, and I’m guessing for the entire book, it’s been questioning our entire concept of how we run the American economy. It asks over and over, if the goals we are chasing, are the best choice for Americans. It doesn’t look at the economy as something we should be working to improve. It looks at it more as something that should be working to improve us.
It questions if the goals for GDP are in our best interest, and finds over and over that they are not. In fact, it finds they are oftentimes harmful. An example it gives is that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, was extremely beneficial to our GDP, with all the jobs created and money spent to limit and reverse the damage. It’s hard to imagine how GDP has our best interest at heart when something so damaging has a positive impact on the national GDP goal.
One of the most irritating approaches I hear every day at work when I ask why we do something is “Because we’ve always done it that way”. I spend a lot of time getting people out of that mindset, and looking for smarter, better ways do do things. I think this book resonates with me a bit, because it’s using that same approach. Why have we done things this way for so long? Is what we are doing still making sense?
I don’t want to spoil my book report, but the concepts in this book, are well worth investigating, and like everything else in this course has been doing, it’s changing my outlook on how things should be running.